So grateful to have a guest post up today on my friend Nate Pyle's blog. You can check out the full article here (and definitely check out his site while you're at it!)
Shortly after I began following Jesus, a friend told me, “Christians go to heaven; non-Christians go to hell.” He wanted to make sure I understood my marching orders: “So our job is to get as many people to become Christians as possible before it’s too late.” I wanted to be open to new ideas, but right off the bat I had a few major problems with this one.
One of those problems was named Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was an elderly Native American who had befriended me. He hated Christianity and, as our friendship grew, he let me in on why. As a child, Jeremiah was forcibly removed from his family and taken to a native boarding school for children to be “civilized.” As Jeremiah walked through the school’s front door, he looked up and saw its motto hanging over the entryway. The motto, as in many native boarding schools of the day, was:
“Kill the Indian. Save the man.”
They came pretty darn close on the first half.
Jeremiah’s boarding school was where he first developed his distaste for America and its civil religion. First, there was the cutting . . .